Elliott Baskett began abusing alcohol and drugs as a teenager. With the help of his pastor and a biblical-based rehabilitation program, he spent nearly two decades changing his ways.
Now, the North Augusta man volunteers with the men’s ministry of Hammond Grove Word Power Ministry helping others to start on the right foot. The ministry will hold a seminar for teenage boys and their parents Saturday to prevent destructive behavior that could land them in jail.
The first-time event, Fate of a Young Man, will instruct parents and teenagers on the consequences of poor choices. Three presenters, Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan and law enforcement members, will explain the court system and prison life.
Many teenagers commit crime without thinking about a serious punishment that can alter their life, said the Rev. Bobby Hankerson, the pastor of Hammond Grove Word Power Ministry.
“If we are proactive in our churches and neighborhoods to address these things before our young men get in trouble, that’s how we have to cut it off,”
Hankerson co-founded the Weed and Seed Initiative, a partnership with law enforcement to crack down on criminal behavior in Barton Village neighborhood. He also serves as a chaplain for inmates at the South Carolina Department of Corrections facility in McCormick.
“Prison life is not a good life,” he said.
Baskett prays that teenagers find the mentor he didn’t have who encourages them to be responsible Christians in their neighborhoods and families.
“In today’s world, it is full of difficult decisions every day,” he said. “The decisions you make on a spur of the moment will be the decisions that carry you the rest of your life.”